Each summer, I begin a quest that ultimately leaves me frustrated and my lips dry: the quest for a lip gloss with SPF. Yes, you can find lipsticks with SPF, or chapstick types with SPF. But gloss? Good luck.
Last summer, I thought I had found the gloss nirvana in TheBalm's BalmShelter (pictured at left). This gloss smells great, has an SPF of 17, and comes in a wide range of colors. However, it's $20 for a skinny little tube, and the brush mechanism leaves much of the product untouchable.
Furthermore, this product contains Octinoxate, a sunscreen ingredient that has earned a hazard score of 6 from the EWG. Personally, I'm not wild about putting something on my lips (that I will invariably end up eating) which has "strong evidence" that it's an endocrine disruptor.
However, this summer, spurred on by the EWG's latest sunscreen report (and the fact that I'm pregnant), I started my quest up again. This time, I think I've found a near-perfect combo: glossy lips, safely protected by zinc oxide, fool-proof to apply and long lasting to boot. The downside? It requires two products:
The first product is Tarte's Natural Lip Stain with LipSurgence Technology, $24 at Sephora (pictured in Lust). Not being a make-up maven, I usually stay far, far away from lip stains (lest I end up staining the area around my lips, giving me a decidedly 6-year-old-with-kool-aid look)…but this product is seriously fool-proof. For one thing, it goes on a bit like a gloss, then dries into a very long-lasting stain. Secondly, it's incredibly sheer. The rather scary red (pictured) is quite beautiful, and gives your lips a slight pop of summery color. For hot pink lips, try Amused, or for something a bit more natural, try either Charmed or Enchanted. I'm also loving their take on coral – aka Joy.
The next product is LaVanilla Laboratories Pure Vanilla Healthy Lip Butter SPF 15. This product uses EWG approved Zinc Oxide as the sunscreen ingredient, but somehow still manages to go on glossy. It's not a super high-gloss, mind you, but glossy nonetheless. It smells good, and is free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, petro-chemicals, etc. The Healthy Lip Butter retails at Sephora for $16.
I love this combo for moms. I can put on the stain in the morning, then reapply just the SPF as needed, knowing my lips still have a bit of color. Easy.
Oh! And both products are free of retinyl palmitate, or any other vitamin A derivative, so pregnant gals need not worry about causing birth defects with their lipgloss. Sheesh.